Sit. Rep. #81: Many layers, No cake

1-  We know that the lowest layer of Earth’s atmosphere is called the Troposphere.  And the next layer up is called the Stratosphere.  Atop the stratosphere is Mesosphere.  The next layer up is called the Thermosphere.  And the last layer of Earth’s atmosphere is the Exosphere.  These layers are based on temperature.  Also, as you may guess, the higher the layer, the thinner the atmosphere — i.e. fewer molecules per cubic meter.

2- Now forget all about those layers.  Well…. not really.  Let’s slice up the layers based on how they react to radio waves (RF for short).   Starting at the top of the Mesosphere all the way up to the Exosphere is a layer of multiple sub-layers called the Ionosphere.   Starting closest to earth the Ionosphere sub-layers are called: D, E sporadic, E, F1 & F2.  Each sub-layer has a different method of capturing and using the Sun’s energy to ionize the atoms & molecules in that sub-layer. 

   The Ionosphere layer is made of free electrons and electrically charged nuclei, atoms, and molecules.  Because it is ionized; the ionosphere, has the ability to reflect radio waves back down to the earth.  Between the earth & the ionosphere, there can be multiple bounces to distant locations.  Ham radio operators call this “skip.”

   The D & E sub-layers disappear at night.  That leaves the F sub-layers to bounce AM and Ham radio around.
   The ionosphere ranges from  60 km (37 mi) to 1,000 km (620 mi) altitude.

V- What is the difference between a horse & the weather?
W- You rein up a horse and the weather rains down.

3- A Dakota Hole fire is useful in 3 situations:  The fire pit is U shaped with a bridge of soil over the bottom of the U.  You lay and build the fire in the bigger side of the U.  The smaller hole’s purpose is to feed air & oxygen to the bottom of the fire in the adjacent hole through the underground tunnel.

  •    1- Very windy situations where you can keep the sparks from flying.
  •    2- Hide the cooking fire from the raiding tribe.
  •    3- If you dig this right – it becomes a jet stove type of fire & cooks hot & quick.  Therefore it takes very little fuel to burn.
    NOTE: But it kills the surrounding soil because of the heat.  Please use only when it is absolutely necessary.

4- I have seen 2 different methods in organizing your backpack:
    1- Use clear ziplock-type baggies.  I suggest the “freezer” baggies.  The freezer baggies are thicker.  If water tightness is absolutely necessary – get the baggies that do NOT have the zipper pull.  They do not seem (to me) to as air and watertight.
    2- Use different color stuff sacks.  One-color for clothes.  One for fire-starting materials.  One for food.  One for first aid and shaving kit.

X- What did the old goat say after eating the movie DVD?
Y- “Frankly, the book was better.”

5- When you are looking at the night sky, notice that some objects appear brighter than others.  Astronomers use a brightness scale called Magnitude.  Here is the catch.  The lower the number – the brighter the object.  It even goes into negative numbers for really bright stuff.  Apparent Magnitude measures how bright something appears here on earth.  Absolute Magnitude is the brightness at a given standard distance of 10 parsecs.  One parsec equals 3.26 light-years distance. (Or 19,170,000,000,000 miles = 30,860,000,000,000 Km.)

5B- The term “parsec” is short for Parallax Second.  Remember that one compass degree has 60 minutes.  Each minute has 60 seconds.  So this angle called parallax second is very small.  If a star appears to move against the background of more distant stars over a 6-month time frame; that is called a parallax movement.  If the star was 3.26 light-years away then it would move exactly 1 second of 1 minute of 1 degree.
Note: The star did not move, we moved but it appears to move against the background of stars.

5C- So the Alpha Centauri system at 4.2 light-years distant has a parallax of less than 1 second.

6- I struggle with the term “leadership.”  I understand management.  I understand government.  I only think I understand leadership.  Every time I try to nail it down; it gets slippery.  Take a few moments to think about leadership.  Share your thoughts with us.


Dan Romanchik KB6NU, (Ham Radio)  Technician Study Guide

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